Pinellas County Schools Parent Communication and Engagement Expectations
PCS is committed to partnering with families to support student learning at home, school and in the community. We acknowledge that students, parents and school staff all have a role in making schools safe and must cooperate to achieve this goal. When school staff and parents work together as partners, they create important opportunities for children to develop social, emotional and academic competencies. As role models, parents and school staff should exhibit the behaviors they would like to see students emulate to be successful in school and in society. Parents are encouraged to talk with their child’s teacher(s) and other school staff about issues that may affect student behavior. School staff should keep parents informed of their child’s behavior and enlist parents as partners in addressing concerns. Meetings between parents and school staff are encouraged to solve problems, prevent behavior problems, and support behavior change and skill development. Parents who want to discuss behavioral supports and interventions for their child should contact their child’s teacher, school administrator or parent educator.
Critical attributes of effective, ongoing, two-way communication include:
- Consistent focus of student achievement and well-being
- Courteous and respectful interactions between all stakeholders at all times
- Open minded exchange of ideas and information between student, family and staff related to achievement, organization and/ or behavior
Expectations for two-way communication:
- Phone and email communication will be used for extended discussion related to student performance and/or well-being.
- All parents/guardians will provide the school with a current telephone contact number and/or email address.
- All schools will provide parents/guardians with contact information for each teacher, school counselor and administrator, including their email address and phone extension, if available.
- School staff and parents/guardians will respond to phone messages and emails promptly.
- The student planner is an essential tool for establishing efficient and effective organizational habits in our students. In addition to the expectation that the planner will be used for recording student learning goals, assignments and special events, each school will define clear expectations for the use of student planners, including:
- How and when the planner can be used for families to communicate with the teacher(s).
- Responsibilities and expectations of the student, the parent/guardian and the teacher, as it relates to the student planner.
- An effort will be made to conduct at least one conference annually for each student. The preferred format is a student-led conference. When a family member is not able to attend the student-led conference, the student will select an adult who cares about them to substitute for their parent/guardian.
- Other possible formats include a phone conference or another type of technology.
Expectations for communication from the school
- Schools staff will:
- Greet visitors to the school in a positive and professional manner.
- Maintain a clean and tidy front office, demonstrating a focus on students and families
- Provide appropriate, regular, and predictable, high-value School Messenger calls to the whole school or subgroup as appropriate.
- Provide a high-quality up-to-date website that includes:
- School name, and logo
- School mission statement
- School administrator info
- Office hours, school hours, dress code and attendance reporting
- Telephone, address, fax, and email contact information
- Links for:
- School brochures
- Parent involvement opportunities (SAC, PTSA, PTA, PTO, Volunteering, etc.)
- Calendar of events
- PCS recognizes the need to develop and expand methods of communication to encompass greater utilization of technology to reach families in the communities in which they reside.
- Teachers will:
- Communicate with parents/guardians in a timely manner.
- Create meaningful opportunities for family engagement.
- Demonstrate respect and courtesy for everyone in the community – students, parents and all other staff.
- Inform parents what their child should know by the end of the school year.
- Keep parents/family informed of student’s academic progress and behavior status.
- Maintain up-to-date and accurate records of student grades and attendance in Focus
- Make time for a parent when they want to come to the school for a conference.
- Provide tools and resources for parents/families to support their child at home.
- School administrators will
- Define, teach, model, reinforce and support appropriate student behaviors to create positive school environments.
- Distribute the Code of Student Conduct to students, parents and all school personnel.
- Ensure an equitable, just discipline system and prevent minor behavioral incidents from becoming major challenges.
- Expand and support the adoption and implementation of alternatives to suspension
- Foster positive relationships with parents to insure open communication.
- Make time for a parent when they want to come to the school for a conference.
- Implement the Code of Student Conduct in an equitable, fair and consistent manner.
- Maintain accurate school records (achievement and discipline data).
- Practice an awareness and sensitivity to students’ cultural differences.
- Provide a calendar in August to inform parents of School Advisory Council (SAC) and PTSA/PTA meetings for the year.
- Review discipline referrals and ensure that appropriate interventions and/or corrective strategies/consequences are developed and implemented in accordance with the Code of Student Conduct.
- District administrators will:
- Assist parents/guardians who are unable to resolve issues at the school-level.
- Define family engagement and create a systemic process to engage parents/guardians at all levels.
- Establish District procedures, including data review, to monitor school-wide and classroom practices to ensure equitable academic and behavioral outcomes for all students.
- Expand and support the adoption and implementation of alternatives to suspension and expulsion across the District.
- Review and revise the Code of Student Conduct annually.
- Review recommendations for expulsions to the Superintendent or designee.
- Utilize individual disaggregated school discipline data to target and allocate professional development and supports for school administrators and staff
Parents’ Bill of Rights can be located in policy 5500.015 on pages 44-45. Parent can use this link www.pcsb.org/parentalrights to access additional information regarding this policy.
Parents Responsibilities can be located in policy 5500.01 on page 46.
Students Rights and Responsibilities can be located in policies 5500.02 & 5550.03 on pages 47-48.
Pinellas County Schools
Pinellas County Schools will educate, empower and support families to enable them to effectively reinforce learning and the healthy development of their children.
Mission: The Office of Strategic Partnerships/Family and Community Relations establishes partnerships and builds relationships between families, communities, schools and the district to support 100% student success.
Ways to Be Engaged in Your Child’s Education
- Make education a priority in your home.
- Discuss the importance of education with your child.
- Have your child attend school every day – on time. If they are not in school, they will miss information and instruction.
- Talk with your child daily about their school day, homework and activities.
- Assist with homework when needed and check to see if it is complete.
- Attend your child’s performances and other school events.
- Celebrate your child’s efforts and accomplishments.
- Communicate regularly with your child’s teachers.
- Let the teacher know the best way and time to communicate with you – email, phone, agenda, Focus, etc.
- Find out the best way and time to communicate with your child’s teacher.
- Attend Parent/Teacher conferences and Open Houses.
- Address issues early.
- Ask your child’s teacher how you can support them. Maybe you can provide supplies, help organize items, contact other parents, etc. It could be as easy as cutting out shapes or alphabetizing.
- Volunteer: Help at a school function, a book fair or picture day; coach a sport; support a program or event; mentor or tutor a student; become a guest speaker, or chaperone a field trip, etc.
- Become a member of the school’s PTA/PTO or SAC (School Advisory Council) to support your child’s school and to let your voice be heard on important issues.
- Visit the PCS Family Engagement webpage: www.pcsb.org/FamilyEngagement.
- Download the Pinellas County Schools Family Engagement App on an iPhone or Android device.
- Listen to your child. You will learn as much from them as they learn from you!
Get Involved with our Future
Volunteer opportunities include mentoring, tutoring, being part of the Speakers Bureau, joining the PTA/PTSA, volunteering for the School Advisory Council, Business & Community Partnerships, family engagement and more! The Office of Strategic Partnerships, Family & Community Relations mission fosters relationships between the district, schools and the community to assemble resources to support student success in our schools.
Contact us at (727) 588-6405
We are located on the first floor of the Largo Administration Building: 301 Fourth St. SW., Largo, FL 33779-2942